Diabetes: there are two types of diabetes: both types of diabetes are categorized by a disorder of insulin production, usage of insulin in the body, or both.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fat tissue is a metabolically active endocrine organ that secretes hormones and inflammatory cytokines.
Inflammation causes a breakdown (catabolism) of organs and tissues. This might be the body’s attempt to keep the weight within acceptable bounds. The stress of obesity might also trigger an inflammatory response similar to having an infection.
Insulin and leptin resistance then impair glucose metabolism and hyperglycemia results.
Genetics is another role player in the development of diabesity, but inflammation alone directly contributes to every single metabolic dysfunction associated with diabesity ( leptin resistance, impaired fat and glucose metabolism and insulin resistance). Inflammation can thus be considered the primary mechanism through which the modern lifestyle and genetics cause diabesity.
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) for energy or store it for future use. It then regulates the carbohydrate metabolism by promoting the absorption of glucose from the bloodstream to skeletal muscle and fat tissue.
There are low levels of circulating insulin in our bodies at all times, even when we don’t eat. This prevents the liver from constantly producing glucose. But very low levels might signal untreated Type 1 diabetes and very high insulin might be insulin resistance or pre-diabetes.
Too much insulin promotes weight gain by storing fat, which in return causes more insulin resistance, lowers magnesium levels and increase inflammation. Insulin resistance is the basis of virtually all chronic diseases of ageing because it promotes chronic inflammation throughout your body. Unfortunately, many healthcare practitioners are still ignorant of the profound influence that insulin has on health.
Inflammation is a normal and beneficial process that protects your body from foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. But chronic low-grade systemic inflammation silently damages your tissues over an extended period of time and might not produce any symptoms until actual loss of function occurs somewhere.
High insulin levels and the associated chronic inflammation contribute over time to the development of obesity and diabetes (diabesity). Modern western lifestyle is probably the most important cause of diabesity.
- Dietary toxins (refined wheat, fructose and industrial seed oils)
- Environmental toxins (chemicals like Bisphenol A, pesticides, phthalates, flame retardants and heavy metals)
- Micronutrient deficiencies (especially magnesium and vitamin D)
- Chronic stress ( emotional, psychological and physiological)
- Altered gut microbiota (caused by antibiotic use, poor diet, formula feeding during infancy)
- Sedentary lifestyle
This condition is categorised into two types; type 1 and type 2. Both types of diabetes are categorised by a disorder of insulin production, usage of insulin in the body, or both. The pancreas secretes insulin, a hormone, which is responsible for moving glucose (sugar in the blood) into cells of the body. This process is triggered when a high level of glucose is present in the bloodstream. The liver and the muscles receive signals to store glucose away as glycogen. Insulin "tells" the cells to store glucose in the form of fat, to reserve energy for future usage. Insulin receptors are found in all cells throughout the body. Blood glucose levels are normally stable in a healthy individual.
Type 1 diabetes, which has also been known as insulin-dependent diabetes, is considered a progressive autoimmune disease, in which the beta cells that produce insulin are slowly destroyed by the body's own immune system. It is unknown what initiates this process. Evidence suggests that both a genetic predisposition and environmental factors, such as a viral infection, are involved in causing the condition. Insulin replacement therapy is usually required as the body no longer produces any insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90 – 95% of cases. In type 2 diabetes, the body does not respond properly to insulin, a condition known as insulin resistance. Over time, the pancreas may become exhausted and unable to produce insulin in adequate amounts. The disease is progressive and several stages occur. Insulin and glucose levels will be elevated during the early stages, while in the later stages insulin levels drop and blood glucose levels are raised. Treatment of type 2 diabetes should be adapted to the specific stage of the disease present.
There are various symptoms to help identify if a patient has diabetes, these include frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, sudden weight loss, extreme fatigue, irritability and blurred vision. In general, the symptoms of type 1 diabetes come on more abruptly and are more severe than the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Ketones present in the blood (ketosis) may cause the breath to smell sweet. Dark skin tags also commonly occur. There are also clinical signs that your physician can test for.
- The risk of developing metabolic syndrome increases with age; however, warning signs may present during childhood.
- Obesity is a definite risk factor – BMI over 25 increases your risk. Body Mass Index (BMI) is calculated by dividing an individual`s weight by their height squared. The World Health Organization(WHO) defines this body mass index as the standard for measuring the risks associated with overweight adults. Abdominal obesity (carrying most fat around the stomach area) presents a greater risk than pear shaped fat distribution – carrying most fat around the buttocks and thighs.
- Genetic history of diabetes – if one of your parents or grandparents has the condition, you are more likely to develop it.
- Race – Asians and Hispanics are more likely to develop metabolic syndrome.
- Lack of physical activity and reduced glucose metabolism.
- Other diseases – high blood pressure, fatty liver disease (non-alcoholic), cardiovascular disease or PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) also contribute to being more at risk of developing metabolic syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes.
1. Blood tests
What blood testing resources may be helpful:
- Fasting glucose
- Postprandial glucose test
- Fasting insulin
- Vitamin D
- Omega Score
Fasting blood glucose measurements are the most common clinical tests used to initially indicate whether a person has abnormal insulin functioning. Blood is drawn and the plasma glucose or blood sugar is tested. This test is usually taken in a fasting state (no caloric intake for at least 8 hours), or a random blood sugar level can be drawn.
Normal fasting blood glucose levels are between 3.9 and 5.5. Prediabetes is diagnosed if the fasting blood glucose level is between 5.5 and 6.9mg/dL. If the results are found to be above 7.0mmol/l in a fasting sample & above 11.1mmol/l in a random sample Diabetes is usually diagnosed in the patient. Urine tests will show glucose and ketones in urine. Your Health Renewal doctor will then order a fasting glucose tolerance test and additional investigations.
The Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1C) measurements reflect glucose levels over the preceding 3 months and are now also included in the diagnostic criteria for Diabetes. If higher or equal to 6.5% it is indicative of Diabetes. Patients with a HbA1C of 5.7% - 6.4% are seen as pre-diabetes or at risk of developing Diabetes.
2. Gene/genetic test
Yes, a multi-gene DNA test can routinely be added to the assessment of:
- Blood cholesterol and
- Glucose levels,
- Blood pressure and
- Body mass index (BMI) as part of Wellness Programs offered by healthcare practitioners.
It includes analysis of variation in clinically useful genes that may contribute to:
- Abnormal cholesterol levels,
- Homocysteine accumulation,
- Blood clotting,
- Iron overload and
Some of these abnormalities contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, obesity and hypertension. Oxidative stress, detoxification of carcinogens and traditional oestrogen exposure are also important considerations in this context.
3. Sleep Study
Read more on Sleep Renewal about Diabetes
The prevalence of diabetes among US adults grew by 45% over the past 20 years, with the greatest increase seen among seniors aged 65 and over. Obesity is the cause of most of the increase in the prevalence of diabetes in younger adults but only part of the increase in older adults. Worldwide, there is an urgent need for a new approach to the treatment of diabetes, as existing and conventional approaches have failed us. Alarmingly, the leading cause of adult blindness, amputation and an epidemic of heart disease, has been singled out as diabetes.
It is imperative that those diagnosed with diabetes, and those with a strong predisposition to developing diabetes, comprehend why and how blood sugar causes damage throughout the body. These individuals need to take preventative action to limit and interrupt these processes. The most damaging process is called glycation. This chemical process involves proteins in the body binding to sugar molecules, which then forms irreversible structures in the body. These proteins can not be utilised again. This process has an impact on the development of detrimental complications arising in diabetics, such as blindness, heart attacks and nerve damage, to name a few.
Another process that needs to be halted in diabetics is oxidative stress. Oxidation takes place due to free radical damage throughout the body, particularly the arteries. Supplementation with the right antioxidants is key in limiting oxidative stress through free radical damage, which will lower the risk of complications developing in diabetic individuals.
Due to very clear differences between the early and advanced stages of diabetes, a more sensible approach would be to differentiate treatment according to the stage presenting in a particular type 2 diabetic individual. During the early stages of the disease, (when a person would present with raised blood sugar and raised insulin levels), it would make more sense to offer treatment that would improve the cells` sensitivity to insulin, rather than increasing insulin levels through medication in such an individual. Addressing the diet and increasing the person`s activity levels, are key approaches in this early stage. There are many supporting studies available proving that these simple steps can delay if not prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes, even when a genetic component is present. Just half an hour of moderate exercise or physical activity in any form, combined with a reduction in body weight (5-10%), can reduce the onset of the disease by 58% in individuals at risk.
Metformin: Increasing Insulin Sensitivity
Metformin is a prescription drug that has been proven to increase insulin sensitivity in diabetic individuals that have mild to moderate hyperglycemia, but this drug has to be taken in conjunction with a balanced diet and moderate daily exercise. The Metformin drug works by increasing the liver's sensitivity to insulin. As a result of its effectiveness, Metformin has become the world`s most frequently prescribed anti-diabetic drug. In addition to increasing insulin sensitivity, Metformin has the benefit of stimulating weight loss, enhancing endothelial function and lowering cholesterol-triglyceride levels in the individual taking it.
There are various other nutrients that can also positively affect insulin sensitivity in the body. These nutrients also have the power to protect weak cell membranes and reduce the damaging effects of elevated glucose levels in the blood. For a winning combination, a patient has to adhere to an improved healthy diet, perform daily moderate exercise, use supplementation and prescription insulin-sensitizing drugs. All these factors together can have the effect of reversing mild to moderate hyperglycemia. If this can be done the patient can prevent needing stronger drugs and permanent damage to their bodies.
Drug Therapy For Advanced Diabetics
Unfortunately, not all individuals will have the luxury of knowing their type 2 diabetes have progressed to an advanced, more dangerous stage. Once a patient is in a state of severe hyperglycemia, the pancreas will burn out after it has had to produce high levels of insulin for a prolonged period of time. As the pancreas burns out, the production of insulin will drop, which in turn causes blood glucose levels to rise until it can create a toxic state in the body. Even though a patient adheres to all healthy lifestyle criteria of consuming a balanced diet, moderate exercise, and taking additional supplementation, prescription drugs might be the only option to improve the situation.
As mentioned earlier, conventional therapy has been shown to be deficient – but it is important to understand why, before discussing therapy for type 2 diabetes. Traditionally, type 2 diabetics have been instructed to increase their insulin levels, in order to enhance transfer of blood glucose out of the blood and into the cells, in an attempt to lower blood glucose levels. Regrettably, this recommendation is flawed and does not make much sense.
Type 2 diabetics generally present with impaired insulin utilisation, rather than a defect in insulin production. Therefore often type 2 diabetics have raised insulin levels, also known as hyperinsulinemia. The sensitive receptors located on cell membranes become "deaf" or resistant to the "message" of insulin, meaning that more and more insulin has to be produced in order to reduce elevated levels of blood sugar. This means blood glucose absorption becomes less efficient, and the individual will have more damaging glucose in the blood (exposing the arteries to the risks of glycation occurring).
Treating elevated blood sugar, fat hormones and insulin resistance alone will have inferior results. In order to have to best possible result all other potential causes of inflammation must be addressed as well.
- Avoid sugar, fructose and grains
- Eat less saturated and trans fats
- Lose weight
- Balance you sex hormones with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy
- Stop smoking
- Floss your teeth daily
- Get enough sleep
- Reduce your stress
- Alpha-lipoic acid (a powerful anti-oxidant)
- R-lipoic acid
- Cinnamon extract
- CoQ10 (in the form of ubiquinol,
- DHEA (depending on blood results)
- Fibre (i.e. oat bran)
- Omega 3 (EPA & DHA)
- Ginko Biloba
- Green coffee bean extract
- Green tea extract
- Vitamin D3
- Pycnogenol taken daily may help reduce health risk factors associated with the metabolic syndrome such as type 2 Diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, which thus improves cardiovascular health.
- Vitamin B complex
- Vitamin C & E
1.Increased levels of inflammatory cytokines predict future weight gain and cause insulin resistance.
2.Inflammation in fat cells. As fat cells expand the inflammation increases.
3.Inflammation of the fat tissue causes insulin resistance, which is a primary feature of Type 2 diabetes.
4.Inflammation in the brain causes leptin resistance, which often precedes and accompanies insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. Leptin is a hormone that regulates appetite and metabolism.
5.Inflammation of the gut causes insulin and leptin resistance via an increase in lipopolysaccarides (LPS), an endotoxin produced by Gram-Negative bacteria in the gut. LPS causes inflammation, insulin resistance in the liver and weight gain.
For all health conditions, the nutraceuticals are individually tailored by the Health Renewal Doctor. The doctor will decide- based on your history, physical examination and blood tests what would be the best for you and your specific needs and/or deficiencies. Please do not self-medicate. Self-Medicating is done when a person takes prescription medication or neutraceuticals on their own without a doctor's supervision and/or consent. By not having a physical examination and blood testing done by a qualified medical practitioner, you could be not treating vital deficiencies or conditions such as elevated blood pressure and high sugar levels. In addition, there is no single supplement given to clients as there is no magic bullet that can support all the essential nutrients that one's body needs.
Intravenous infusions: Select your IV Infusion "cocktail" and get "infused" with life and living well! Intravenous (IV) therapy or Infusion therapy is a method of feeding vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, directly into the bloodstream to correct intracellular nutrient deficiencies and help numerous health concerns.
Medical ozone: Ozone is an amazing element that has the power to detoxify the body by breaking down toxins and heavy metals. Ozone also helps to build new and healthy cells, tissues, organs and ultimately healthy body systems.
Body Renewal Medical Weight loss program: Insulin resistance and diabetes can be dramatically improved if one can lose 5-10% of body weight. If the program is strictly adhered to patients lose between 8 and 15 kilogrammes of fat in a 6 week's cycle, they generally find it quite easy and feel good with high energy levels. In fact, depressed patients have mood elevation as the Leptin levels "Kick in" 10 days into the program. Many of our patients have tried numerous other well-known diets but find this to be the magic one that actually works.
i-lipo treatments: This low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is available at Body Renewal which will help with centimetre and weight loss. LLLT such as i-lipo has been proven to restore a lean state adipocytes without inducing cell apoptosis/ death. It is hypothesised that i-Lipo LLLT could serve as an adjunct to other dietary therapies to promote insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of diabetes because a lean state is produced in the fat cell. Lean state means there is an improved insulin sensitivity, resulting in less insulin needed for glucose metabolism. Less insulin equates to less fat being deposited.
An article published in the American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery in 2010 demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in both serum triglyceride and total cholesterol levels following a standard two-week, six treatment LLLT administration. Presently, clinical studies are ongoing to elucidate the potential utility of LLLT.
LLLT (based on histological evidence), has proven to reduce adipose tissue fat mass in areas of the waist, hips, and thighs while preventing fat cell death. The formation of the transitory pore within the adipocyte membrane results in adipocyte cell collapse and its return to a lean state. Reduced fat mass is associated with the synthesis of beneficial hormones like adiponectin which promotes insulin sensitivity within numerous tissues. Ongoing clinical trials are evaluating the LLLT for potential acute and long-term medical benefits.
Metabolic syndrome is a serious health condition associated with coronary heart attacks, diabetes, and even early death. You can identify this condition in your own body if you have three out of five of the following traits: excess abdominal fat, high blood triglycerides, low HDL (which is the good cholesterol), high blood pressure, and impaired glucose tolerance.
To improve your health here are some tips:
- Lose weight
Shedding even 3 kilogrammes can significantly slash your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Even extremely overweight people were 70% less likely to develop diabetes when they lost just 5% of their weight – even if they didn–t exercise. The Body Renewal Medical Weight loss program is offered at Body Renewal and yields phenomenal results. If the program is strictly followed, patients can lose between 8 and 15 kilogrammes a 6 week's cycle which generally find it quite easy, and feels good with high energy levels. In fact, depressed patients have mood elevation as the Leptin levels "Kick in" 10 days into the program. Many of our patients have tried numerous other well-known diets but find this to be the magic one that actually works.
- Eat healthily for 80% of the time and eat what you want 20 % of the time (basically on the weekends).
This can be done with intermittent fasting:
Try to eat only 100% organic food which does not overtax your hypothalamus again. Obesity and weight gain are caused by the man-made ingredients, chemicals, hormones and food processing techniques in the growing, producing and manufacturing of every-day food.
- Turn off you fat switch by limiting your fructose intake:
Limit your total fructose intake to less than 25g per day (which is equivalent to 2 low fructose fruits) as Fructose can increase your hunger and lead to overeating by triggering changes in your brain. Fructose-containing sugars cause obesity by turning on your fat switch. Effective treatment of obesity requires turning off your fat switch (done by limiting fructose intake) and improving the function of your cells' mitochondria.
Limit fructose from fruit to 15 grammes a day. For example, 1 cup berries contain between 3 to 4 g of fructose; an orange 6.1g; a banana 7.1g; an apple 9.5 g; 1 cup grapes 12.4 g & ½ mango 16.2 g. Fructose is also metabolised to fat in your body far more rapidly than any other sugar, and the metabolism of fructose by your liver creates a long list of waste products and toxins, including a large amount of uric acid, which drives up blood pressure and can cause gout. High fructose diets will lead to obesity, insulin resistance, fatty liver, and high triglycerides, signs of inflammation, vascular disease, and high blood pressure. Fruit juices are high in Fructose, so strict avoidance is recommended. Likewise, honey is very high in fructose. A far safer alternative is to use pure glucose (dextrose), Stevia or Xylitol.
- Replace sweetened drinks(whether they`re sweetened with sugar, HFCS( high corn fructose sugar) or artificial sweeteners) with plenty of pure, clean water. Fructose and fruit juice turns your fat switch on.
- Consume healthy fats, like butter, eggs, avocados and nuts especially macadamia nuts which are higher in fat and lower in protein. Unheated oils such as 1T coconut oil, palm oil and olive oil are beneficial to the body.
- Eat plenty of raw food.
- Avoid all genetically engineered foods and processed foods, and try to eat organically produced foods,
- Avoid any product containing aspartame, which is derived from a GE organism.
- Be a cereal connoisseur. Selecting the right cereal can help you slim down and steady blood sugar. A higher whole grain intake is also linked to lower rates of breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke – and cereal is one of the best sources of these lifesaving grains if you know what to shop for. Watch for hidden sugar: The "total sugars" listing doesn`t distinguish between added and naturally occurring sugars; the best way to tell is to scan the ingredients again. The following terms represent added sugars: brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, maltose, malt syrup, molasses, sugar, and sucrose. Skip cereals that list any of these within the first three ingredients (which are listed by weight).
- Stop eating fast foods. You might get away with an occasional fast-food splurge, but become a regular "fast feeder" and your risk of diabetes skyrockets. In addition to the jumbo portions, many fast food meals are loaded with unhealthy trans fats and refined carbohydrates, which may raise diabetes risk even if your weight remains stable.
- Optimise your gut flora with fermented foods or Vit K 2 supplement. Fermented vegetables (which contain Vit K 2) can easily and inexpensively be made at home. Alternatively take 1 x Vit K 2 supplement with meals, available from Health Renewal. Vitamin K2 is an important fat-soluble vitamin that plays critical roles in protecting your heart and brain, and building strong bones. It also plays an important role in cancer protection. The biological role of vitamin K2 is to help move calcium into the proper areas in your body, such as your bones and teeth. It also helps remove calcium from areas where it shouldn`t be, such as in your arteries and soft tissues. Vitamin K2 is really critical for keeping your bones strong and your arteries clear. Its other main role is to activate proteins that control cell growth.
- Exercise regularly. Make sure to incorporate high-intensity interval training at least once or twice a week. Walk as much as you can every day. You`ll be healthier – even if you don`t lose any weight. Why is walking so wonderful? Studies show that exercise helps your body utilise the hormone insulin more efficiently by increasing the number of insulin receptors on your cells. Insulin helps blood sugar move into cells, where it needs to go to provide energy and nutrition. Otherwise, it just moves around in your bloodstream, gumming up blood vessel walls and eventually causing serious health problems.
- Unwind every day.Chronic stress can send blood sugar levels soaring. When you`re stressed, your body is primed to take action. This gearing up causes your heart to beat faster, your breath to quicken, and your stomach to knot. But, it also triggers your blood sugar levels to shoot through the roof. Under stress, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode, raising blood sugar levels to prepare you for action. If your cells are insulin resistant, the sugar builds up in your blood, with nowhere to go – leading to chronically high levels. The good news is, simple relaxation exercises and other stress management moves can help you gain control over blood sugar levels, try these proven relaxers:
Start your day with yoga, meditation, or a walk.
Take three deep, slow breaths before answering the phone, starting the car, serving the kids lunch, or any other activity.
Reclaim your Sundays (or any other day, once a week) as a day of rest or fun with your family, relaxing, worship, etc. Try to avoid spending the whole day on obligatory errands such as mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, or catching up on work.
- Get a perfect night`s sleep of between 6 to 8 hours. When you sleep too little – or too long because of sleep apnea – your nervous system stays on alert, which will interfere with hormones that regulate blood sugar. Get plenty of sleep in terms of its effect on your metabolism and weight, lack of sleep has been shown to affect levels of leptin and ghrelin – two of the hormones linked with appetite and eating behaviour. When you are sleep deprived, your body decreases the production of leptin, the hormone that tells your brain there is no need for more food, while increasing levels of ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger. For a good night`s rest, avoid caffeine after noon, leave work at the office, and skip late-night TV.
- Have a blood test and check your blood pressure.Many diabetes and hypertensive symptoms are silent. A simple blood test can reveal whether sugar levels put you at risk for the condition. People with pre-diabetes, slightly elevated blood sugar levels, often develop a full-blown case within 10 years. Knowing your blood sugar levels are a little high can put you on a track to steadying them through simple diet and exercise changes, before diabetes sets in and medications may be necessary. Everyone 45 and older should have their blood sugar levels tested. Younger people who have risk factors such as being overweight, a family history, and high cholesterol and blood pressure should ask a Doctor about getting tested sooner. If results are normal, get tested again within 3 years. If you have pre-diabetes, blood sugar should be tested again in 1 to 2 years.